I am by no means a pro in terms of networking and DNS stuff, but I know my share of stuff.

I am attempting to do the following. A customer's hosting doesn't have enough space and permissions to host a small site I am working on. So I am hosting the site on my own server. I want the final URL to be with the client's domain though. So what I did was create a CNAME on my client's hosting, pointing to a new subdomain on my server. Something like:

My subdomain: client.myhosting.com
CNAME on client's hosting: register.clientdomain.com -> client.myhosting.com

The pointing works fine but when I open register.clientdomain.com instead of getting the content of client.myhosting.com I get the root folder of myhosting.com.

I've used this way of masking URLs with services like Instapage and Shopify, so I thought it would only make sense if I did it with a subdomain.

I've been in contact with the support guys from my hosting service, but I am not sure if they are not quite understanding me, if they don't know how to do this, or if I am wrong and it can't be done.

Am I missing some extra configuration or my host's not correctly configured?

[edit: comment on first response given indicates that this is cPanel and the question is thus how to configure a virtualhost alias using cPanel]

  • You missed the part where you configure the webserver how to respond to your client's address. It only knows how to respond to yours.
    – user143703
    May 25, 2018 at 23:13
  • What configurations would those be @yoonix May 25, 2018 at 23:17

1 Answer 1


The hostname used in the URL is sent to the web-server to help it select the right content (virtual-hosting) and CNAMEs just help the clients (web-browsers or whatever) find the IP address(es) of the web-server, they don't change what's sent.

So the web-server needs to be configured to know which domains it should be serving that content for. The register.clientdomain.com example above needs to be added as a "vhost alias" to the virtual host which holds the content.

Do not configure the web-server to return the content for any hostname it's accessed with, that way lies a security nightmare (as your content becomes accessible with a domain-name under an attacker's control, potentially allowing exfiltration of sensitive data). Just add the individual known/allowed server-names.

  • So, in this case I am using cPanel, should I add the domain as an addon domain or what should I do? May 25, 2018 at 23:16
  • I don't know cPanel at all, but I've edited the tags on your question so that you'll be more likely to get help from people who do.
    – Phil P
    May 25, 2018 at 23:19
  • Let me check if I manage to do it and I'll get back to you. May 25, 2018 at 23:25
  • What finally got the job doing was an addon domain, I thought it wouldn't work since it's a subdomain technically, but it finally did work. You guided me the right way. Thanks! May 29, 2018 at 15:28

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